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Archive for May, 2005

REVENGE OF THE SITH – John Williams

May 20, 2005 Leave a comment

revengeofthesithOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

After 28 years, six movies, and almost $2 billion in combined grosses, the Star Wars saga has finally come full circle with the release of the third installment of director George Lucas’s “prequel” trilogy, Revenge of the Sith. Essentially acting as a bridge between the last film, Attack of the Clones, and the events of the original 1977 classic Star Wars, Revenge of the Sith tells the story of the Empire’s rise to power: how the Imperial Senate becomes the sole domain of Chancellor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid), how the last of the old Jedi Knights are driven from power and vanquished in battle, how Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) betrays his former master Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and is turned to the dark side of the force by Darth Sidious, eventually becoming the evil and feared Darth Vader; and how Padme (Natalie Portman), Anakin’s wife, secretly gives birth to twin children – named Luke and Leia – who will ultimately become the only hope for a galaxy in the iron grip of its new, ruthless rulers. Read more…

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MINDHUNTERS – Tuomas Kantelinen

May 13, 2005 Leave a comment

mindhuntersOriginal Review by Peter Simons

After David Julyan was relieved of his scoring duties on Renny Harlin’s psychological thriller Mindhunters, Finnish composer Tuomas Kantelinen was brought in for what appeared to be a last-minute replacement job. Within three weeks he wrote and recorded an 80-minute orchestral score. It’s hardly ever a pretty sight to see a composer’s work getting rejected, especially when it’s a young and promising composer like Julyan. The redeeming factor here is that Kantelinen himself is a marvelous but unknown composer who really deserves his big break. However, Renny Harlin’s career today isn’t what it used to be. The days of Cliffhanger and The Long Kiss Goodnight have long since passed. Though I personally found his Cutthroat Island to be a superbly entertaining movie, most of the world didn’t care for a female pirate roaming the high seas. The movie bankrupted Carolco and ruined Harlin’s career. Unfortunately for Harlin, his latest thriller doesn’t appear to be the solid pic he’d need for the audience to restore their faith in him. Mindhunters was supposed to be released in the fall of 2003, but currently holds an uncertain release date for September 2004, having been bumped at least three times. With each time the film is delayed, it gets less likely the movie will ever play in theatres at all. This is particularly unfortunate for Kantelinen, whose complex and exciting score for this potential blockbuster could’ve been his ticket out of Finland. Read more…

CRASH – Mark Isham

May 6, 2005 Leave a comment

crashOriginal Review by Peter Simons

The first film directed by Paul Haggis, Oscar-nominated screenwriter of Million Dollar Baby, is Crash, a dramatically potent contemporary ensemble piece about life, love and racism in Los Angeles. The film’s stellar cast includes such famous names as Matt Dillon as a veteran LAPD cop, Don Cheadle as a detective investigating a seemingly racially-motivated murder, Brendan Fraser as the local District Attorney, Sandra Bullock as the DA’s wife, and Thandie Newton as an innocent bystander whose accusations of racial and sexual harassment sets of a chain reaction which has repercussions for all. Crash has become one of the most critically acclaimed films of 2005, having been lauded for its intricate storyline, convincing performances, and bravery in tackling a difficult and controversial subject with a mixture of sensitivity and power. Read more…

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HOUSE OF WAX – John Ottman

May 6, 2005 Leave a comment

houseofwaxOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

I realize the statement I’m about to make is a very sweeping generalization, but I’m finding that I don’t “get” John Ottman. When he first burst onto the scene back in 1995 with his score for The Usual Suspects, I was one among many who considered him to be a truly fresh and original talent in film music. Subsequent scores such as Incognito, Snow White, Apt Pupil and Goodbye Lover maintained the high standards, but recently I have been finding myself growing more and more disinterested in his music, and I can’t quite out my finger on the reason why. X-Men 2 was OK, and Gothika and Hide and Seek were competent but little more, but his music of late has been developing a disturbing “samey” quality that continues from project to project. While it’s important to have a voice of your own, it’s also important to have the compositional ability to switch genres effectively, and I still find it amazing how Ottman continues get himself attached to massive franchises like X-Men, Fantastic Four and the upcoming Superman Returns without really (in my opinion) showing himself to have a great deal of range. Read more…

KINGDOM OF HEAVEN – Harry Gregson-Williams

May 6, 2005 Leave a comment

kingdomofheavenOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

As the first “major” epic of 2005, much was expected of director Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven, a would-be sweeping tale of love and honor during the time of the Crusades. Orlando Bloom plays Balian, a young blacksmith in 11th century France who is in mourning having recently buried his wife and child. Into his life during this dark period comes Baron Godfrey of Ibelin (Liam Neeson), Balian’s estranged father, who has decided to make himself known to his only son. Having agreed to make a journey to Jerusalem to atone for his sins, and having finally made his peace with his with father, a battle on the road to Messina leaves Godfrey mortally wounded. As the new Baron of Ibelin, Balian arrives in Jerusalem allied to the leper king, Baldwin IV (Edward Norton), and the Lord Marshall, Tiberias (Jeremy  Irons), and quickly makes an enemy in the shape of Templar knight Guy de Lusignan (Marton Csokas) – a rift made greater when Balian has an affair with Guy’s wife, Sibylla (Eva Green). Meanwhile, in the lands surrounding the Holy City, the Arab leader Saladin (Ghassan Massoud) is massing an army of 200,000 men to take back Jerusalem from the Christians who have occupied it for 100 years. Read more…